Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a safe and fun-filled New Years Eve and are excited for a brand new start this coming year. Today officially marks Life at the Mesa’s 1st birthday as I released my very first blog post a year ago! My first ever blog post was my tips for sticking to your new year’s resolutions which seemed to go over very well with everyone. However, this year I wanted to do something a little bit different and that is to reflect on all the lessons I learned this past year. I think reflecting on the past sets you up for a truly fresh start to the new year as you revisit your successes as well as your failures. The first step to moving forward is to reevaluate your progress while also reanalyzing what you could do differently to get you that much closer to the best version of yourself.
Find a Work-Life Balance
2018 was a crazy yet exciting year as it was filled with many personal challenges as I struggled to maintain a healthy work/life balance. For much of this year, I struggled to give myself the time to unwind and enjoy the social aspects of my life. There were days in which all I would do is spend 8+ hours at school and then 4-5 hours studying all while trying to work and run the blog. I would run from school to work to the computer to try to crank out content but as you can imagine, being so all over the place directly impacted my content on the blog. It took a while for me to realize that I needed to slow down and truthfully it wasn’t until November that I finally gave myself a break. November was a month filled with family gatherings which forced me to take a step back and reevaluate the course of my life. As much as I love to work on projects and give 150% in everything I do, I realized that I was lacking the simple things in life like my family and friends which was ultimately making me feel miserable. I found that the blog that used to bring me joy and happiness was making me feel awful because I began treating it like a job instead of an outlet to share my knowledge. So I decided from that day forward to take some time for myself and to allow myself to slow down. Now that it is the new year, I have to say that that was the best decision I could have made because now more than ever I feel inspired and driven to get back to doing what I love the most. I love connecting and sharing recipes with all of you but I always said I would never crank out content just for the sake of posting something. My content is a reflection of who I am and I would never want to put anything I didn’t believe 110% in. With all that being said, I am ready now more than ever to give my all while also respecting my personal boundaries so that I can get the most out of my life.
Persevere through the tough times
Another important lesson I learned in 2018 is the importance of never giving up even when the odds are against you. During this last Fall semester, I was enrolled in microbiology and organic chemistry both of which terrified me before I even began. I had heard so much about how difficult those classes were that before I even started I had managed to psych myself out. In August when class began I started off on the right foot by constantly telling myself that I could do it but as time ticked on I found there was a shift in my mood. Halfway through the semester, my perfectionist tendencies began to reappear and I was constantly bombarded by the thought that “I need to be perfect”. Those thoughts very quickly consumed my entire life and began to wreak havoc on my physical, mental, and emotional health. Everything felt so difficult that there were days in which I felt like I could not get out of bed if I had even a single doubt about how I would do on that next quiz or that homework assignment. Things just weren’t going great and I remember very seriously considering dropping one of my classes as I felt as though that was my only option. However, lucky for me I have an absolutely incredible support system that convinced me otherwise. They all expressed to me that I was doing the very best I could considering the fact that I was also juggling 5 million other things at the same time. They reminded me of how far I had come and let me know that I needed to cut myself some slack and appreciate all that I had accomplished thus far. After thinking about what everyone had said I decided to suck it up and handle it as best as I could. The voice of reason in my head was finally louder than the voice filled with doubt and insecurities which enabled me to finish off my semester strong. Had I allowed that moment of weakness to break my concentration, I would not be only 2 classes away from applying to my master’s program! Now that I have checked those two classes off the to-do list, it feels so much more rewarding as I move forward.
Have Faith in Yourself
The last lesson that I want to reflect on goes hand in hand with persevering through the tough times because the most surefire way to get through a difficult patch is to believe in yourself. During all the toughest moments of this year, I realized it was made even more challenging because of all the negative thoughts I would allow to flood my mind. One memory that is very clear in my mind is my first practical for my organic chemistry class. In the hours leading up to my first practical, I remember feeling very anxious and intimidated by what I was going to be walking into. As much as I knew leading up to that moment, I remember walking into the lab room and feeling completely defeated. As I worked, a particular thought popped into my head which ultimately set the tone for the remainder of that practical. The thought that totally derailed my thinking was “I don’t think I’m cut out for this”. That thought shot through my mind like a bullet and left me feeling distressed and emotionally drained. To say the least, that practical did not go well and so immediately after it was over, I cried my heart out and went on and on about being a “failure”. My boyfriend let me get my frustrations out and once again reminded me to believe in my abilities. The day after that first practical, I had a realization about the outcome based on my response to that stressful situation. I realized that I had sabotaged myself because of the thoughts I allowed to float around in my head. I vowed that the next few practicals would be handled much differently in order to yield the results I was after. Sure enough the following practicals I walked in with confidence and ready to take on whatever was thrown my way. Throughout the entire duration of the practical, I repeated in my head ” you can do it”, ” look how far you’ve come” and “you haven’t made it this far to only make it this far”. All those positive affirmations helped to cement the idea that all I needed to do was have faith in myself and my capabilities would shine through.
To wrap this all up, I want to say a huge thank you to every single person who follows the blog. Your support means the world to me and brings me so much joy in knowing that someone values my opinions and knowledge. I promise I will strive to produce the best content I can to help inform you of the things you need to know as it relates to you and your health. Thank you for your endless support and I can’t wait for what this new year has to bring to the blog.